April 29, 2020
Most modern high yielding crop varieties are sensitive to abiotic stress adversaries, such as salinity and drought, which are going to worsen under the current and imminent global environmental uncertainties. Conventional approaches to improving abiotic stress tolerance has been slow due to multigenic inheritance and complexity of phenotyping of stress tolerance traits. Halophytic extermophiles, on the other hand, withstand and successfully complete their life cycle under harsh environmental conditions. Using multi-omics approaches, significant progress has been made in disentangling the underlying mechanisms of abiotic stress adaptation of some extremophiles. However, reports on the successful translation of the extremophiles resources toward development ofstress resistant food crops are scanty. Over the last decade, we have made significant progress in understanding the stress adaptation response of two grass halophytes –Spartina alterniflora and Porteresia coarctata using systems biology approaches. Evidential validation of successful translation of a few key genes involved in drought/salt stress response-associated networks through functional screening will be discussed.